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Dying for Seconds

I love a good pot roast dinner; one that starts with a tender beef roast succulently seasoned and slowly cooked all day. Caramelized onions, large potato cubes, chunky peeled rutabaga, carrot pieces and coarsely chopped celery join the roast as the meat simmers before it all gets mixed in rich brown gravy. Served with piping hot biscuits, this is my favorite meal. For me, itís a banquet at which I will over eat because I canít get enough. After an initial full plate, Iím still dying for seconds.

You may have your own feast that means as much to you as pot roast does to me. You know you will over indulge and eat more than you normally do. You just canít get enough when itís served and youíre left dying for seconds.

While overeating on a regular basis can be detrimental to our health, we likely only have this particular cuisine infrequently. This may be also why it seems so special to us when that first plate of it appears before us and why we canít wait for seconds. But there are some other situations where not being able to wait for seconds could be very damaging to our health.

Riding in traffic, we start creeping up on the SUV ahead of us so we can get to our destination a little sooner. Subconsciously we might know that following too closely takes away a lot of our options if something unexpected happens ahead. But to drop back to a reasonable distance and travel at the same speed might allow someone else to pull in front of us and we canít wait for the few seconds it might add to our trip.

Perhaps we feel like the traffic light might turn red as we approach the intersection so we roll on the throttle to make sure we can get through before it does. In the back of our mind we know that these junctures of traffic are where most crashes occur with other vehicles. Increasing our speed at this point increases our stopping distance and reduces our margin of safety, but we canít wait for seconds.

Maybe we change lanes frequently to get around traffic ahead so we can get where weíre going more quickly. We know intuitively that dodging between cars often results in less room to maneuver in the event that an unseen situation develops. Sometimes we even end up waiting at a traffic light alongside of the car we passed, but we canít wait for seconds.

The bottom line is that we need a clear mind when riding; be it a short trip to run an errand or a segment of a vacation longer trip. We can't afford to be focused on work related or personal issues. Stress and emotions as well as impairments can steal the focus we need to interpret the information we see, hear and feel and determine what action to take so the situation doesn't affect us.

Unlike my pot roast dinner, with this type of riding behavior, dying for seconds could take on a whole new meaning literally. Becoming aggressive on our bikes robs us of options when faced with unforeseen circumstances that require quick decisions and action. Is gaining a few seconds worth the added stress that can take some of the fun out of our ride? Certainly the increased risk puts us in a much more vulnerable position on the road. Dying for seconds just doesnít seem appealing to me.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!